The Big Bang Theory is a CBS network sitcom series created by Chuck Loore and Bill Prady (who are also the executive producers on the series as well along with Steven Molaro, starring actors Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Melissa Rauch, Mayim Bialik, Kevin Sussman & Laura Spencer.
The show first aired on September 24, 2007 and as of 2016, it has aired for nine seasons and 207 episodes. It has since been renewed for a tenth season by the network.
The series is primarily centered on five characters living in Pasadena, California: Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper, who are both physicists at Caltech and share an apartment;
Their neighbor, Penny (who lives across the hall) was a waitress and aspiring actress who later becomes a pharmaceutical representative.
Leonard and Sheldon's similarly geeky and socially awkward friends and co-workers are aerospace engineer Howard Wolowitz and astrophysicist Raj Koothrappali.
The geekiness and intellect of the four guys is contrasted for comic effect with Penny's social skills and common sense.
- Johnny Galecki as Leonard Hofstadter
- Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper
- Kaley Cuoco as Penny
- Kunal Nayyar as Rajesh Koothrappali
- Simon Helberg as Howard Wolowitz
- Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler [season 4-current, recurring season 3 ]
- Melissa Rauch as Bernadette Rostenkowski [season 4-current, recurring season 3 ]
- Laurie Metcalf as Mary Cooper
- Christine Baranski as Beverly Hofstadter [season 2-current]
- Kevin Sussman as Stuart Bloom [ season 2-current]
- Wil Wheaton as Himself [season 3-current]
- Carol Ann Susi as the Voice of Debbie Wolowitz [seasons 1-8]
- Sara Gilbert as Leslie Winkle [seasons 1 to 3]
"The Big Bang Theory" started off slowly in the ratings, failing to make the top 50 in its first season (ranking 68th) and ranking 40th in its second season. When the third season premiered on September 21, 2009, however, it ranked as CBS's highest-rated show of that evening in the adults 18–49 demographic (4.6/10) along with a then-series-high 12.83 million viewers.
After the first three seasons aired at different times on Monday nights, CBS moved the show to Thursdays at 8:00 ET for the 2010–2011 schedule, to be in direct competition with NBC's Comedy Block and Fox's "American Idol" (which was then the longest reigning leading primetime show on U.S. television from 2004 to 2011).
During "The Big Bang Theory"'s fourth season, it became television's highest rated comedy, just barely beating out eight-year champ "Two and a Half Men".
However, in the age 18–49 demographic (the show's target age range), it was the second highest rated comedy, behind ABC's "Modern Family."
The show's fifth season opened with viewing figures of over 14 million.
The sixth season boasts some of the highest-rated episodes for the show so far with a then-new series high set with "The Bakersfield Expedition" with 20 million viewers, a first for the series (which along with "NCIS") made CBS the first network to have two scripted series reach that large an audience in the same week since 2007.
In the sixth season, the show became the highest rated and viewed scripted show in the 18–49 demographic, trailing only the live regular NBC "Sunday Night Football" coverage, and was third in total viewers, trailing "NCIS" and "Sunday Night Football".
Season seven of the series opened strong, continuing the success gained in season six, with the second episode of the premiere, "The Deception Verification", setting the new series high in viewers with 20.44 million.
Showrunner Steve Molaro, who took over from Bill Prady with the sixth season, credits some of the show's success to the sitcom's exposure in off-network syndication, particularly on TBS while Michael Schneider of TV Guide attributes it to the timeslot move two seasons earlier.
Chuck Lorre and CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler also credit the success to the influence of Molaro, in particular the deepening exploration of the firmly established regular characters and their interpersonal relationships, such as the on-again, off-again relationship between Leonard and Penny.
Throughout much of the 2012–13 season, "The Big Bang Theory" placed first in all of syndication ratings, receiving formidable competition from only "Judge Judy" and "Wheel of Fortune" (first-run syndication programs).
By the end of the 2012–13 television season, the show had dethroned "Judge Judy" as the ratings leader in all of syndicated programming with 7.1 and the show descending to second place for that season with a 7.0.
The show did not place first in syndication ratings for the 2013–14 television season, beaten out by "Judge Judy."
Awards & AchievementsEdit
In August of 2009, "The Big Bang Theory" won the best comedy series TCA award and Jim Parsons won the award for "Individual Achievement in Comedy".
In 2010, the show won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Comedy while Jim Parsons won a Primetime Emmy Award for "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series."
On January 16, 2011, Jim Parsons was awarded a Golden Globe for "Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical" (an award that was presented by co-star Kaley Cuoco).
On September 18, 2011, Jim Parsons was again awarded an Emmy for "Best Actor in a Comedy Series."
On January 9, 2013, the show won a People's Choice Award for "Favorite Comedy" for the second time.
On August 25, 2014, Jim Parsons was awarded an Emmy for "Best Actor in a Comedy Series." The show also won the 2016 People's Choice Awards for under "Favorite TV Show and Favorite Network TV Comedy" with Jim Parsons winning "Favorite Comedic TV Actor."
On January 20, 2016, the series also won the International category at the UK's National Television Awards.